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Full text of "Poland Russia and Great Britain 1941-1945"

members in the House. The Honourable Members, people of the
Western world, were judging, or desired to judge, the behaviour of the
Soviet Government according to their own standards, and their references
to Soviet magnanimity, their belief that Russia intended to ' free * Poland,
could only have met with the contemptuous laughter of Moscow.
Whosoever spoke in the House of Commons could not and cannot have
the slightest influence on any decision of the Kremlin. How naive to
the ears of its war-lord must have sounded the avowal of one of these
Honourable Members of the British Parliament, Price, when he declared
that the methods of Russian diplomacy " are indirect and not always easy
to understand," or that of Sir Headlam, when he complained " we are
always being told that Russia is a democracy, and surely we can utilise
with Russia the same methods that we adopt with other democracies,55
But what the Honourable Members failed to realise was that Soviet
Russia recognised England, not as a democracy, but as the peal: of capi-
talism with " aristocrats and plutocrats holding the reins."
That the ideas and hopes expressed in Britain's House of Commons
were valueless in the Moscow State, was made evident on the very day
when Churchill had called on the House to " restrain its views " and the
House had duly praised the magnanimity of Russia. On that same day,
September 28, the authorities of the Red Army, entering Bulgaria,
ordered the British and American officers whom they found in Sofia to
leave the country immediately. Thrown out from the territory occupied
by their ally, they were obliged to cross into Turkey in order to seek the
protection of their Ambassadors.
The most characteristic speech in favour of the Government's opinion
was made by one of the permanent appeasers of the House of Commons,
Quinton Hogg. He used kindly words about Poland. ec We should seek
to assert again and again," he said, " that it is our purpose and our hope
to restore a free and independent Poland." But the whole gist of his
subsequent remarks was that Britain could give no practical help to the
Poles ..." If we were to let them believe that we were able to do that
which our geographical position, the political framework in which we have
to live and our military resources, alike render impossible, we should, in
fact, be committing that very dishonourable action of pretending that we
were going to achieve for our friends more in fact than we were either
disposed or able to do."
Those who were urging the fulfilment of the Anglo-Polish Treaty and
accepted commitments, were, according to Hogg, violating " almost every
cannon of British foreign policy over the last 300 years." -
Captain Alan Graham seemed to be the only member to underline
Britain's position as leader of the Western world. Graham emphatically
pointed out that "the British cannot abdicate from their position as
defenders of European civilisation ** and " smaller nations/' and that
334